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In early 1942 the Queensland Main Roads Commission was directed to erect buildings, anti-aircraft gun emplacements, command and battery observation posts, underground plotting room, magazines, accommodation for officers and men, a 20,000 gallon concrete tank, and a 20 bed hospital at Cowan Cowan (aboriginal Kau-in Kau-in) on Moreton Island for Cowan Battery. There were also instructed to build a Controlled Mine Station with accommodation for officers and men of the Royal Australian Navy which became RAN Station 3 Controlled Mining and Guard Loop Station.

RAN Station 3 was located within the boundaries of the Cowan Battery or Examination Battery (see photo below).

RAN Station 3 was responsible for the following two controlled minefields which were part of the seaward defences for Moreton Bay

There were 16 Mine Loops and 6 Guard Loops between Moreton Island and Bribie Island, which were laid on 27 June 1942 by the British mine layer "HMS Atreus". This minefield was replaced on 9 June 1944.

RAN Station 3 was located at the southern end of Cowan Battery and comprised:-

Living facilities on site comprised:-

The Naval Board decided by mid 1944 that RAN Station 3 buildings should be handed over to the Department of Interior for safe custody. NOIC Brisbane advised Naval Board on 30 August 1944, that buildings (I presume this is referring to the living facilities only) at RAN Station 3 had been completely dismantled and the remaining complements would be withdrawn by 1 September 1944.


Photo:- via Bruce Gilbert

A view of Cowan Battery, the Examination Battery, on Moreton Island.
RAN Station 3 was located at the southern end of Cowan Battery


NOTE:- The RAN's Port War Signal Station (PWSS) for the port of Brisbane was located at 25 Dorothy Newnham Street, Cowan Cowan by early 1940. The PWSS moved to a house called "Buena Vista", in Canberra Terrace, Caloundra on 9 September 1940 and eventually became known as RAN Station 1. In 1942 the Navy constructed a three storey reinforced concrete building at Wickham Point, Caloundra, which became RAN Station 1 Caloundra PWSS. The former PWSS building at 25 Dorothy Newnham St., Cowan Cowan still exists and is listed on the Heritage Register of the Brisbane City Council (ID No. 601097). So it was the forerunner to RAN Station 1, however it may have been reused by RAN Station 3 or even Cowan Battery.



Indicator Loops
by Dr. Richard Walding



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This page first produced 24 April 2015

This page last updated 06 September 2018